Ahh, Vienna, land of schnitzel, residence of Beethoven, and a chance to see prancing horses standing on their again legs. However aside from opera, grand palaces, and beautiful museums, what does the Austrian capital maintain for eager city-breakers? Properly, how about wild-swimming, sun-bathed vineyards, and up-and-coming cocktail tradition? We headed to Vienna to be able to uncover the lesser recognized gems that make this metropolis nicely value a spot in your Euro-trip hit-list.
Getting a caffeine hit is a well-liked pastime in Vienna. In reality, there are over 2500 espresso homes, and round 25 alternative ways to drink your cuppa Joe. Legend has it that, in 1683, the retreating Turks of the Ottoman Empire scarpered in such a rush they left behind their espresso beans, and so the primary Armenian espresso home was opened.
Relying on what sort of atmosphere you’re after, you’ll be spoilt for selection relating to institutions – after which it’s a must to decide what sort of espresso you need! For us, it’s all concerning the Vienesse Iced Espresso. Sure, this can be extra a dessert than a drink – so sue us. Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and chilled Americano mix to make a candy deal with that additionally has a caffeine kick. A must-visit spot is Cafe Spurl, purely for the nostalgia. It was based in 1880, and there’s a great deal of historical past related to the place. In addition to housing architects, artists, musicians, actors, singers, generals and excessive officers, Cafe Sperl was the basis of the Espresso Stars and composers like Lewinsky, Girardi, and Eysler. Sip your espresso, order some Sperl torte, and luxuriate in amongst the old-school pool tables, paneled partitions and heavy brocade of the splendidly retro decor.
Vienna has loads of alternatives for anybody wishing to flex their bank card. Mariahilferstraße has all the large identify shops you possibly can want (Cartier, Chanel, and Hermes, for instance, or H&M and Zara for these with much less lofty retail aspirations). It’s the town’s longest and most energetic buying road, and also you’re completely positioned to dart off and discover the aspect streets of the sixth and seventh district, the place you’ll discover an array of extra area of interest outlets with Austrian designers, idea shops, and weird finds. There’s an abundance of possibilities to get distinctive souvenirs. Take a look at Muehlbauer for fancy hats, INA KENT for leather-based purses from an Austrian designer, and PARK for high-concept, distinctive trend. Proper subsequent to Cafe Sperl is a retailer referred to as Phil, which interprets as ‘love’ and has been right here for 11 years. It’s a classy espresso store (in fact) that additionally sells a cool mixture of books, paintings, and lovely stationery.
Hiring a motorcycle is a good way to see a metropolis, and Vienna could be very cyclist-friendly. Not solely are there loads of bike lanes, however the metropolis is comparatively flat, and motorists listed here are extremely pleasant in comparison with most main cities! We advocate heading to Prater Park for a little bit of greenery. Right here you’ll see joggers, dog-walkers, and usually individuals slipping right into a extra relaxed tempo of life. It’s additionally an excellent probability to go to Prater amusement park and see the Wiener Riesenrad. This Big Ferris Wheel is a little bit of a star in its personal proper – you may recognise it from movies akin to The Third Man, Earlier than Dawn, and James Bond film The Dwelling Daylights. Hop on the rollercoaster, seize some currywurst, and indulge your internal youngster for the afternoon.
Take a dip within the Danube
Vienna may need loads of parks (over half of the town’s floor space is assessed as inexperienced area), however there’s additionally an opportunity to encompass your self with azure blues as you’re taking to a ship on the Previous Danube. A brief metro journey out of the centre (simply seven subway stations away from Stephansplatz) will deliver you to the 21st district, and right here you’ll be able to leap aboard and motor up the river. Deliver your swimming costume, as a part of the enjoyable is stripping off and getting concerned in some wild swimming. It’s an exquisite method to refresh, and also you’ll see loads of individuals on the banks catching solar rays and having fun with picnics with a watery view. There are even specifically made seashores for whenever you need the sand between your toes – and a nudist seashore for if you need to get sand all over the place else.
Viennese wine – who knew? Not sufficient individuals, it appears. The rationale we’re not au fait with the grapes of Austria are that they don’t truly export an enormous quantity of wine. However when visiting the town, it might be remiss to not order a glass (make that a bottle) of Wiener Gemischter Satz. One of many laws for this type of Austrian wine is that a minimal of three high quality grape varieties have to be planted collectively within the winery, and should you fancy heading to one among these vineyards, then head out to Eichelhofweg.
This tremendously fancy neighbourhood boasts a 3 Michelin star restaurant (Amadors Wirtshaus), a number of lovely eating places and wine bars, and the unmissable Wieninger am Nussberg. Situated on a rolling hillside overlooking vines and misty horizons, this can be a fabulously rustic spot to absorb a view of the town whereas studying all about wine. A ‘buschenschank’ is a standard wine tavern, and right here you possibly can perch on a picnic bench, go seize your chilly cuts from the buffet (be certain that to get a bowl of their potato salad, too), and ask about tasting alternatives. Make ours a glass from Hajszanneumann, please.
If Vienna had a center identify, it will little question be ‘tradition’. That is the house of the Vienna State Opera Home, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Spanish Driving Faculty and the Hofburg, with loads of different architectural wonders thrown in, too. Make a journey to the MuseumsQuartier, the place there’s an abundance of choices to get your geek on. The Leopold Museum has one of many largest collections of recent Austrian artwork on present, whereas the mumok (Museum of Trendy Artwork Ludwig basis Vienna) is an intimidating, austere construction that invitations guests to interact with modern artwork. You can even see some fairly superior buildings whereas wandering across the metropolis – not least the Dalí -esque Hundertwasserhaus.
Food and drinks
Everybody has heard of schnitzel, and you may’t actually come to Vienna and never have this genuine dish that consists of flattened, tenderized meat (often venison however typically pork or hen) that’s coated in breadcrumbs then fried. For among the best within the metropolis, head to ALMA Gastrotheque within the 4th district. Not solely is the meals to die for, however there’s a stunning little courtyard for balmy evenings, and the husband and spouse workforce are so welcoming you are feeling such as you’re heading into somebody’s residence. Don’t overlook to complete your meal with a glass of plum schnapps for an actual style of Vienna.
One other genuine dish is Tafelspitz – boiled beef broth, served with a mixture of thrilling sides akin to roasted slices of potato, minced apples and horseradish, and bitter cream combined with chives. Centrally situated Labstelle serves an excellent model, in addition to uncommon dishes like Viennese fish and chips, and different unmissable conventional dishes similar to dumplings. All of the merchandise come from the world round Vienna, the bread is to die for (baked in-house), they usually do an awesome worth day by day Enterprise Lunch menu.
For extra backyard terrace motion, head to the fabulously fairly Glacis Beisl within the MuseumsQuartier. Right here dishes like glacé calves lives and heat calves head sit alongside extra… ‘accessible’ dishes reminiscent of scrumptious pieroggi (a ravioli full of cheese curd and potatoes), and all the opposite conventional dishes you can want for (sure, the schnitzel right here is value doubling up your vacation consumption).
For a very thrilling expertise of recent Viennese delicacies, make a beeline for Bruder. This new child on the block (barely open for six months) is embracing loopy culinary wizardry with native, sustainable, and fermented components. You’ll be able to view the instruments of their commerce in satisfaction of place over the bar – bottles of glowing fermented crops and produce, lit up in ambers and golds like some kind of mad laboratory. The Tasting Menu comes paired with cocktails and has been created by house owners Lucas and Hubert. The thought is to translate conventional Viennese dishes, or meals with a robust nostalgic pull, into new iterations on the plate. So that you could be consuming snails with horseradish (these delicacies being ‘the oysters of the poor’ and highly regarded in Austria); polenta with milk and carrot (harking back to occasions at grandma’s home – you’ll need to ask); and a snazzy model of a kebab in testomony to the Turkish areas of Vienna. Anticipate to intersperse the meals with uncommon cocktails (garnish recreation is STRONG right here), and photographs which were fermented with the likes of cherry, fir, and pine.
The place to remain
Expertise the idea of ‘Lean Luxurious at Ruby Inns. This group of ‘top quality, low value’ lodges supply travellers the prospect to remain in five-star lodging in a major location, all for a fraction of the worth one would often anticipate. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! By way of eradicating conventional (however not essentially helpful or needed) elements such because the mini bar and lodge restaurant, prices are stored low. Distressed at what may occur when you get a longing for chocolate or a G&T at 3am? Worry not, they’ve ‘galleys’ on sure flooring with snack merchandising machines – at affordable costs (no extra regretting these extortionate peanuts upon check-out). Oh, and the bar is 24 hours. There’s nonetheless a eating room of types, it’s extra of a comfortable, informal cluster of armchairs and tables that transforms again right into a relaxed lobby when the natural breakfast is over. Which truly makes it really feel far hotter and extra inviting than these sterile lodge eating places you’ll be able to come throughout.
All of the lodges have totally different feminine names and barely totally different characters. For instance, the unique Ruby Sofie is housed in a historic live performance corridor, the Sofiensäle, and musical parts wind themselves by way of the decor. We beloved the Ruby Marie for its beautiful sun-trap roof terrace (full with occasional stay music), whereas for an outstanding central location, you possibly can’t beat the Ruby Lissi.
Whereas the varied lobbies may need their little quirks, bedrooms are pretty uniform throughout the inns. Brilliant, white and dazzlingly recent, you’ll be able to maintain prices extremely low in one of many ‘Nest’ classes, or splash out on one of many ‘Wow’ rooms (or a Loft room when you’re in Ruby Sofie or Ruby Marie – utterly value it, in our opinion). We will attest that the beds are splendidly snug and blackout blinds make for a restful night time’s sleep. What’s that factor that appears like a Marshall guitar amp underneath the desk? It’s er… a Marshall guitar amp. Within the foyer, you’ll discover electrical guitars which you can borrow and take as much as your bed room for a jam. Or plug your iPhone in and really feel the music pulse as you prepare for an evening out in Vienna. Don’t fear when you’ve received a budding Hendrix subsequent door – all bedrooms are sound-proofed, in fact.
Know-how has additionally been harnessed for the fashionable travellers’ wants – check-in is wildly easy (you actually do it your self and get a room key printed in entrance of your eyes), and each room has a private pill PC and smartphone pre-loaded with Ruby Resorts’ carefully-curated native metropolis guides, social media apps and limitless knowledge and calls to make use of all through your keep. Actually, you definitely get the sensation that group is on the coronary heart of Ruby motels. Once we have been staying at Ruby Lissi, there was a particular Lindy Hop night time the place visitors can take part and study some strikes, and alongside the stay music nights, there are group occasions like film screenings and yoga. Examine in, sit back, make buddies, and prepare to hit Vienna city – with all that cash you’ve saved, it’s time to splash out on having enjoyable!
Nightly charges at Ruby Lissi, Vienna begin from €89 per night time for a Nest Room, together with breakfast. For extra info, please go to www.rubyhotels.com.
Nightly charges at Ruby Marie, Vienna begin from €69 per night time for a Nest Room, together with breakfast. For extra info, please go to www.rubyhotels.com.
Nightly charges at Ruby Sofie, Vienna begin from €79 per night time for a Nest Room, together with breakfast. For extra info, please go to www.rubyhotels.com.
LEVEL supply every day flights from London Gatwick to Vienna from €29.99, every method. For extra info or to guide, go to www.flylevel.com.
Extra details about Vienna might be discovered at www.vienna.information